Redbridge Council are considering following the lead of several others in London and becoming a designated licensing area. This would see landlords having to pay for a licence for each private property they want to let. The move is designed to improve standards, including the quality of housing, and ensure that tenants are treated fairly. It is believed it would also tackle anti-social behaviour.
If the licensing came into force it would see a five year licence for a property offered for a discounted fee of £250 for the first three months of the scheme. After this the price would rise to £500. To earn a licence the house would need to be inspected to ensure it met the required standards.
The idea is set to be discussed by the service committee and cabinet of the Council. If agreed on a period of consultation will follow in which landlords, tenants, managing agents and businesses would be able to offer their thoughts. It offers a good opportunity for those who will be affected by the licensing to have an input.
In Redbridge approximately a quarter of the homes are let in the private sector. This is a large number and shows how popular renting in the area is. The Council is committed to improving the standards the landlords offer and licensing offers a solution.
If the move is approved it will be the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a licence and ensure it remains current. For those who decide to move away from private lettings they will still be able to rent out their property thanks to council leasing schemes. These allow them to rent with Redbridge Council and see them take responsibility for maintaining the standards of the property, finding tenants and management. This can offer some fantastic opportunities.
At Finefair we have experience with private lettings and council leasing in Redbridge. If you would like advice please contact us for information; we will be happy to work with you to find the best course of action.